Look after your neighbours in the heat

Friday, 9th February, 2018

Parts of the country are set to swelter with a heatwave expected. Photo: James Davies.

WITH the temperature set to rise over many parts of the country this weekend, we're being encouraged to connect with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours to make sure they are safe during the heatwave.

Queensland's Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said people should plan ahead to reduce the risk of getting heat exhaustion or a heat-related illness, but elderly and frail people were particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures.

“There are a number of tips that can help people cope with a heatwave and stay safe,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“For example, drink plenty of water regularly and plan your day to keep activity to a minimum during the hottest part of the day.

“Fans and air-conditioners at home can really help to keep you cool and comfortable, but if you don’t have them you can keep cool for free by visiting an air-conditioned library, community centre, shopping centre.

“Another great option for keeping cool this weekend is to catch that movie you’ve been putting off seeing at your local cinema.

“Similarly, taking frequent cool showers or baths – or even splashing your face and the back of your neck with cool water – can go a long way towards alleviating the effects of hot weather.”

Minister O’Rourke encouraged people to check on their neighbours over the coming days, particularly if they were elderly, unwell or frail.

“It’s particularly important to look out for our seniors during the expected weather headed our way, with heat and humidity a risk to the health of older people,” she said.

“Popping next door with a cool drink for an elderly neighbour not only makes sure they’re safe and well, it can also help beat social isolation and better connect seniors to their communities.

“Neighbourly acts like sharing morning tea, inviting an elderly neighbour over to your air-conditioned home or giving them a lift to the shops may seem small and simple, but they can make an enormous difference to the wellbeing of seniors at times like this.”

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